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Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World [Hardcover]

Don Tapscott
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Oct 2008


The Net Generation Has Arrived.
Are you ready for it?

Chances are you know a person between the ages of 11 and 30. You've seen them doing five things at once: texting friends, downloading music, uploading videos, watching a movie on a two-inch screen, and doing who-knows-what on Facebook or MySpace. They're the first generation to have literally grown up digital--and they're part of a global cultural phenomenon that's here to stay.

The bottom line is this: If you understand the Net Generation, you will understand the future.

If you're a Baby Boomer or Gen-Xer: This is your field guide.

A fascinating inside look at the Net Generation, Grown Up Digital is inspired by a $4 million private research study. New York Times bestselling author Don Tapscott has surveyed more than 11,000 young people. Instead of a bunch of spoiled “screenagers” with short attention spans and zero social skills, he discovered a remarkably bright community which has developed revolutionary new ways of thinking, interacting, working, and socializing.

Grown Up Digital reveals:

  • How the brain of the Net Generation processes information
  • Seven ways to attract and engage young talent in the workforce
  • Seven guidelines for educators to tap the Net Gen potential
  • Parenting 2.0: There's no place like the new home
  • Citizen Net: How young people and the Internet are transforming democracy

Today's young people are using technology in ways you could never imagine. Instead of passively watching television, the “Net Geners” are actively participating in the distribution of entertainment and information. For the first time in history, youth are the authorities on something really important. And they're changing every aspect of our society-from the workplace to the marketplace, from the classroom to the living room, from the voting booth to the Oval Office.

The Digital Age is here. The Net Generation has arrived. Meet the future.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional; 1 edition (1 Oct 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071508635
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071508636
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 373,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


A thoughtful antithesis to entrenched and sometimes alarmist managerial opposition to internet-influenced behaviours. -- Financial Times, December 11, 2008

An insightful, data-rich analysis with broad implications for managers, marketers, and politicians. -- BusinessWeek, December 8, 2008

Challenging times call for new approaches... As Tapscott says, "Understand the Net generation, and you will understand the future". -- The Independent, March 3, 2009

Explains why the net generation, who grew up playing video games... have actually been improved by the experience.
-- Economist, December 5, 2008


A thoughtful antithesis to entrenched and sometimes alarmist managerial opposition to internet-influenced behaviours.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don Does 25 Jun 2009
With the publication of Don Tapscott's new book on the Net Generation ("Grown up Digital"), I could write "Go and read this book", but it might end up as a quote on the Dutch edition of this book (which I don't aspire!), while leaving out the second part of the quote "...because it is flawed in so many ways that it serves as a good textbook on how NOT to present your arguments in a (scientific) debate."

Tapscott's book is one of many books that tries to capture the essence of the current generation by stressing the impact of the technological developments on these youngster, especially Internet and popular applications such as Google, FaceBook, YouTube and others. This leads to a host of exclusive names such as `digital natives', `net generation', `Millennials', `Screenagers' and `generation Einstein'. Currently more research is becoming available that questions many assertions of these authors. What is more, one can seriously question the added value of speaking of generations. For instance, evidence points in the direction that differences in a generation can be as profound as differences between generations. I will write more elaborate about this in the upcoming publication `Wijs met Media' (`Medialiteracy'). Here, let me shortly zoom in on just one aspect: methodology.

If you want to make a statement on the use and experience of transportation: would you ask only car owners? And would you invite members of the Fiat 500 fan club to contribute anecdotes on how they experience going for point A to point B? If the answer is no, would you then gather data on the current generation by asking only internet users on the influence of technology and new media on their behaviour and would you use a FaceBook community as a way to tap into the experience of a whole generation. Do you?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poorly researched facile tosh 16 Dec 2009
By J. Brand TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"Poorly researched facile tosh" - that's a bit harsh isn't it? Well possibly not; there really isn't much in this volume that would tell you anything that you couldn't guess from casually watching any teenager and reading a column in some of the lower brow papers.

Let's examine the background for this book. Mr Tapscott tells us this book is the result of a multi million dollar research project and then seems to base his conclusions almost entirely on anecdote, a few cherry picked statistics from other people's research and watching his own children. Maybe someone did pay millions for that research but if it had been me I'd have wanted a refund.

OK well maybe the background is irrelevant what does he actually say? Let's try a few random pages ... "one third of japanese primary school pupils use a mobile" that's the sort of trite observation that anyone could make simply by watching kids come out of a school gate. How about the startling revelation that practicing video games improves reaction times - really! well I would never have guessed that without Mr Tapscotts help. What of hs observation that his daughter used computers to chat to friends as well as phones, well that was (not) completely unexpected! The entire book is like that (or at least the first half is at which point I consigned this tosh to landfill) random observations with no real conclusion or analysis beyond the mind numbingly obvious.

This is a subject that could form the subject of a good book. Is technology changing society and are today's youth the vanguard of that change? This book does nothing to answer such questions.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating but flawed 27 Jun 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A fascinating and very relevant topic, particularly as electronic publishing is becoming more mainstream (since the publication of this book, Arnold Schwarzneger has "terminated the textbook" apparently, in favour of e-texts for this very generation!).

My view on this book comes from two perspectives - first of all, a member of this so-called 'net generation'. And secondly, as a publisher thinking about how people want to buy and use content. So I read it while thinking 'is this me?' and also thinking 'what can I make of this commercially?'. The answer, unfortunately, was - not a lot. With that said, I felt that it would be a very interesting introduction to the topic for somebody who didn't know much about how people use digital media.

I found the topic very interesting, and a lot of the content is fascinating - but I was rather put off by the preponderance of anecdotal evidence. I found myself a bit irritated by being lumped in with this '11-30' age bracket, when personally I find there is a huge difference even between my own habits (I am 26) and those of my younger sister, who is 23 - totally driven by the technologies she's grown up with. I'm not convinced by this book, particularly 9 months on from publication when I think it's already sounding dated. Interesting - but I will hold out for a better book on the topic that offers a more nuanced view. Or perhaps what I am looking for is more likely to be found on blogs and web pages... who knows.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Irredeemably smug 6 April 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I really didn't enjoy this book.

It seems worthily-intentioned enough and has serious academic ambition-er-credentials... there are several pages of acknowledgements at the start (more typical of trade press than academic writing) and many references to big-business grants to 'prove' it.

I expected this to be an interesting cultural commentary piece - and in some aspects this was accurate. There are a number of facile cultural references e.g. in regard to the use of YouTube and Twittering.

However, for ANY diachronic cultural overview, it is realistic to state that GENERALLY successive 'generations' of human beings are able to 'expand and improve' upon the output of previous generations: by working from, using and improving it. For example... the development of the wheel!!!!

I was concerned by the level of one-sided (over-)importance placed on the skills and abilities of the new net generation of technology users. Encoded here is a viewpoint which just about writes off the digital skill level of anyone over the age of (current) 31... virtually marginalising the members of this 'older' generation to the level of 'the programmers of VCRs', whilst paradoxically trivialising those amongst this group whose work has been/is developing 'next generation' technologies.

It's not often that I find myself disliking not just the content of a book, but the style in which the book is written: however, in this case, I found myself loathing the smug self-congratulatory/'my kids are geniuses' aspect which underpins much of the work.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by TJHarris
3.0 out of 5 stars Get a handle on the net generation, but not the definitive book
Don Tapscott is a respected consultant, author and speaker on corporate strategy and the role of technology in business and society. Read more
Published 20 months ago by David Terrar
1.0 out of 5 stars Claptrap from start to finish
The concept of the 'Digital native' or a 'digital generation' is hearsay and myth. There is not one shred of evidence to suggest there is or ever was - the complexity of computer... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Jonathan F. Vernon
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful balance to 'the internet is dumbing young people down'
Don Tapscott is very optimistic about the way the internet is changing how young people think and act. Read more
Published on 19 May 2011 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking but not wholly convincing
Tapscott's book is an intriguing review of the "net generation" and how they are using the net and its associated technologies. Read more
Published on 21 Feb 2011 by A. J. Gauld
4.0 out of 5 stars The older generation, young adults and 'grown up digital.'
This book builds on the previous book I read by Don Tapscott, Wikinomics. This book is for anyone, particularly senior executives, who want to understand how adults brought up in... Read more
Published on 23 Nov 2010 by M. Ahmed
3.0 out of 5 stars nothing that most 'tech/net savy' people with kids already know
After finally reading this book (almost a year after release)im wondering im my review is too late,taking into account that most of the methods mentioned in this book are already... Read more
Published on 28 Oct 2010 by piccolo
2.0 out of 5 stars Not convinced
As someone in their mid 30s, who has grown up with the development of computers, and has worked in the IT industry for ten years, I wasn't entirely convinced by this book. Read more
Published on 14 Oct 2010 by S. Diment
4.0 out of 5 stars Beginners guide to the internet
Aimed perhaps at those who feel they might be left behind by the fast developing world of the internet, this book is a primer into the possibilities offered by new ways of... Read more
Published on 15 Mar 2010 by Neil Lewis
3.0 out of 5 stars 30 and under, you're living it anyway
I guess I am part of the grown digital generation so a lot of what is discussed in the book is stuff I already know and understanding. Read more
Published on 23 Dec 2009 by Nathan
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